Label: InsideOut Music
Genre: Prog Metal
Release Date: February 14th, 2020
Devon Graves – Vocals
Dan Rock – Guitars & Keys
Brian McAlpin – Guitars
Ward Evans – Bass
Norman Leggio – Drums
1. Devils And Angels
3. Back To Black
4. All The Bad Men
5. The Fallen
6. While The Spiders Spin
7. Pull The String
9. Season Of The Swarm (Bonus Track)
10. Sisters Of The Dawn
11. In The Silence
The almost impossible happened. 23 years after having released their latest album to date, Psychotic Waltz returns to the scene with a new record. ‘The God-Shaped Void’ is the title of the band’s 5th album that ends an extremely long waiting time.
And not only that the quintet delights fans of Progressive Metal with new songs, but they also do it in the original line-up, featuring Devon Graves, Dan Rock, Brian McAlpin, Ward Evans, and Norman Leggio.
Psychotic Waltz exited the Metal scene in 1997, right after having released the ‘Bleeding’ album. Some live shows that started in 2011 were a signal of some activities at the Psychotic Waltz camp, but a new album was still far out of sight. Songwriting for the new album though started in this period and it took another 7 years to finish off what began in 2012. Being at a different location, with Devon Graves living in Europe, made the process at least not easier with a lot of data traffic between the band members as a consequence, but they managed. Having had the chance to listen to the new album ‘The God-Shaped Void’ clearly shows that every minute spent for the new album during the last 7 years was worth the investment. ‘The God-Shaped Void’ is for sure a highlight in 2020 and an unofficial nominee for the 2020 year polls.
Psychotic Waltz’s 5th album provides with ‘Devils and Angels?’ a massive start. Although it’s Devon Graves’ flute that introduces you to the album the heavy passages follow rather quickly. The songs are great ‚welcome back?-statement after all these years with a chorus that’s truly a big one. The moderately paced ‘Stranded?’ is next in the batting order. It’s a dark undertone as a foundation, with a mighty bridge and melodic chorus.
A heavy riff leads off ‘Back in Black?’, one of the more aggressive tracks on the record. Some parallels with Queensryche are present, but still, we’re talking about 100% Psychotic Waltz. The bands clean the bases with ‘All the Bad Men?’. This slowly moving monster doesn’t give you any chance to escape. The massive beat and the irresistible guitar melodies, together with hypnotizing vocals, put a spell on you.
After such an outburst the acoustic guitars of ‘The Fallen’ are a welcomed distraction. A moment to take a deep breath before entering the bottom part of the tracklist. However, the songs don’t stick to the acoustic start and turn into a metallic anthem along the way.
‘While the ‘Spiders Spin?’ follows a similar pattern. Again an acoustic start is what we face. Several layers add arcs of tension to this track, still having the song itself in focus. Via ‘Pull the String?’ you get to the slightly melancholic ‘Demystified?’, both songs including the typical Psychotic Waltz flute sound. ‘Sisters of the Dawn?’ is the next highlight.
With a slower tempo, the track is built again on stellar melodies and unveils the beauty of Progressive Metal. Far too early things come to an end with ‘In the Silence?’. The final chapter is a hymn that isn?’t loud but intense, and it’s for sure not as ?’silent?’ as the title pretends. Psychotic Waltz is more than all its parts. Each of the five musicians brings a lot of experience to the table and it’s at no point the musical ego that drives this record. It?’s the spirit, passion, and commitment that lifts ‚The God-Shaped Void?’ to a major league level. Welcome back Psychotic Waltz.
Written by: Markus Wiedenmann